Prosperity NOW: VITA Awareness Day Toolkit, TaxSlayer Support, and More!

March 5, 2021

This month, we’re excited to promote VITA Awareness Day on March 17, featuring stories from fellow VITA partners and a special video series showcasing the impact of VITA in local communities. Please join the conversation by using the forthcoming VITA Awareness Day toolkit and #VITAWorks.  

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of participating in Intuit’s Tax Time Allies Webinar: Empowering People at Tax Time, along with representatives from Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, the IRS and Commonwealth.  The session was for those who provide constituent services for members of Congress and statehouses and focused on equipping them with messaging and tools to connect the public with the IRS’s free taxpayer assistance programs (VITA, TCE and Free File) and how to communicate about the EITC Look Back Rule.  VITA Awareness Day is also a great time to reach out to your congressional representatives’ district offices to share information about your program and how those in your community can file for free. 

As always, we encourage you to share your questions, comments and challenges with the rest of your fellow VITA tax peers at the Tax Roundtable listserv.  

Spotlight: VITA Awareness Day Toolkit Coming Soon  

VITA Awareness Day is just around the corner! We invite you to join us in celebrating the VITA program on March 17. This year, our focus is on service delivery through virtual and non-traditional models and how VITA continues to serve as a fixture in local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll feature a video series with stories from partners and their superstar volunteers to get the ball rolling.  

In addition to the video stories, we’d also like to hear more of your stories. You can share them through our VITA Awareness Day Story Collection Survey. Your testimonials remind us of the personal impact the VITA program has on all parties involved and how it helps to communicate that impact to advocates, policymakers and other stakeholders. Share your story with us!    

Finally, we’ll share resources including customizable social media messages, data one-pagers and more. We all know that VITA is crucial in our local communities, so let’s take time to celebrate all the incredible volunteers, partners and staff that make VITA the program it is today.   Join in the conversation using #VITAWorks. 

Updates from the Network

VITA Awareness Day Story Collection 
We want to hear from you! We need your help to gather stories and testimonials for VITA Awareness Day. We want to hear how VITA impacts you and your community, and how it has changed during the pandemic. Click on the questionnaire link and fill out as many responses as you wish.    

Virtual VITA Resources 
Need help tackling the Virtual VITA process? Prosperity Now has developed a Virtual VITA toolkit with the resources and supports to help you transition to Virtual VITA. The toolkit addresses elements of the Virtual VITA process from both the client and volunteer perspectives. Check it out today.  

The VITA-Train is Here 
All aboard! The VITA-Train is here! The revamped platform provides Advanced Level certification training through our modular learning process. In addition, modules feature conversations with the updaters who share their thoughts on the module and what volunteers can expect. Feel free to explore the modules and use them to supplement your training where you see fit.  

MyFreeTaxes is Live
MyFreeTaxes is now live for 2021. You can use the link for the direct MyFreeTaxes site and the partner portal. Check out MyFreeTaxes and share with your community today.  

Second Stimulus Check FAQs
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Get It Back Campaign has resources on the second stimulus checksstimulus eligibility for immigrants and what to do if someone didn’t get their first or second stimulus checks. Stay tuned for additional stimulus/Recovery Rebate Credit materials. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a blog on the Recovery Rebate Credit, EITC lookback and reasons to file. Be sure to pass this on to your partners. 

RideShareTaxHelp is Now Live is updated for the 2021 tax filing season. This project of the Get It Back Campaign and CASH Campaign of Maryland provides comprehensive guidance on tax filing for Uber and Lyft drivers. Tax info for food couriers will be added soon.  

Unemployment Benefits & Taxes The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Get It Back Campaign has new resources to help people understand taxes and unemployment benefits: a guide to paying federal, state and local taxes on unemployment benefits and a guide to the 1099-G Form and how different states deliver it.  

Self-Employment Tax Calculator 
The Get It Back Campaign and CASH Campaign of Maryland have updated their estimated payments calculator that is part of the Roadmap to Rideshare Taxes project. This tool helps self-employed workers calculate their estimated tax payments.  

Lookback Resources
Commonwealth has developed a messaging toolkit to help you communicate about the “Lookback Rule”. These messages are perfect to plug into your program’s digital and print marketing and outreach materials and are available in both English and Spanish. Check out the toolkit and share the messages with your clients and stakeholders.  

Knights of the Tax_Roundtable
Catch the latest edition of the Knights of the Tax Roundtable on the tax season kickoff. Knights of the Tax Roundtable puts a face to the names you see on the Tax_Roundtable and brings answers to your burning tax hot topics.  VITA Leadership Institute Resources
The VITA Leadership Institute Resource page is live with fully updated worksheets to help with your program planning. You can check out the cultivated resources from the cohort and use them for your own program as you plan for next filing season.  

Tools and Information for the Field

Updates from the IRS and SPEC

TaxSlayer Support Info:
Please use the following information to create a support ticket with TaxSlayer this filing season:  

Phone: 1-800-421-6346 


Support Hours: 

Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to midnight EST
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST
Sunday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST 

Also, be sure to check out the TaxSlayer VITA/TCE Blog for important software updates. 

TaxSlayer Partner Call Information: Join the upcoming Partner/Volunteer calls with TaxSlayer: 

1 -2 p.m. EST Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694 

March 11, 2021; Access Code: 2807882# 

March 25, 2021; Access Code: 9284553# 

April 8, 2021; Access Code: 7972388# 

IRS SPEC Partner Webcast Schedule  
Click here to get the full 2021 schedule for IRS SPEC Partner Webcasts to ensure that you stay up-to-date on the latest news and resources from IRS SPEC.   

Get Ready for Taxes
The IRS has created a special page on, outlining steps taxpayers can take to prepare to file their 2020 tax return.  

Link and Learn 
The online certification and tax law curriculum from IRS SPEC is available for use by VITA/TCE volunteers. This Fact Sheet and Volunteer Tax Alert provide important information necessary for certification.  TaxSlayer Suggestion Box
Do you have thoughts or ideas on how TaxSlayer could be improved to help you run your sites more efficiently and make it easier to prepare and file more quality returns? Share them in the VITA/TCE Suggestion Box. Your feedback is needed for both federal and state returns, as well as reports.

Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Four-Part Advocacy Network Call
Beginning Tuesday, January 26, Prosperity Now policy experts will host a series of one-hour calls to discuss our 2021 federal policy priorities, what these policies would mean for your community and hear your thoughts and questions. The schedule for the calls is as follows:  

  • Tuesday, January 26, at 2 p.m. EST: Right-Side Up Tax Policy Priorities (past event)  
  • Tuesday, February 9, at 2 p.m. EST: Financial Security policy priorities (past event) 
  • Tuesday, February 23, at 3 p.m. EST: Affordable Homeownership policy priorities (past event) 
  • Tuesday, March 9, at 2 p.m.. EST: Consumer Protections policy priorities 

Don’t delay and sign up today!

From Tax Complexity to Tax Equity  

March 23, 2021, 3-4 p.m. EST 

Join us for a discussion on the complex tax system’s inequitable effects on Black and Brown women as well as the policies that can help mitigate these inequities. During this webinar, you will hear from Change Machine and Prosperity Now experts as well as practitioners and advocates who work daily to make the tax system more accessible by advocating for expanded and refundable tax credits for working families, uniformity of benefit definitions and more. 

Register Today 

Virtual Advocacy
Want to get started on virtual advocacy, but don’t know how to start? To find resources for effective advocacy at every level, visit our Prosperity Now Advocacy Toolkit.  

If you have ideas for future learning events, stories or resources, contact us at   

Recent Webinars and Events

How Tax Policy Can Help Low-Income Americans’ Pandemic Plight 

February 26, 2021 
In this episode of Tax Notes Talk, Rebecca Thompson of Prosperity Now discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected low-income communities and families of color in the United States, and what tax policy tools could help them. 

VITA Leadership Institute Year One Analysis 
October 22, 2020 
After a successful VITA Leadership Institute, we want you to join us in sharing our results and how we plan on moving forward. This is a can’t-miss event for newer programs wanting to get an inside look at all aspects of a great VITA program.  TON COVID-19 Listening Session
April 28, 2020 
We’ve broken down the most impactful resources from our national partners around COVID-19 as well as the virtual VITA platform.  

TON COVID-19 Listening Session
April 28, 2020 
We’ve broken down the most impactful resources from our national partners around COVID-19 as well as the virtual VITA platform.  

Evaluating Tax Time Savings Behaviors 
Have you ever wondered what tax time savings and behaviors look like on the national scale?  In this report, we explore the behaviors and outcomes related to savings and financial well-being of low- and moderate-income (LMI) tax filers in the United States. We present findings from research conducted by Prosperity Now, the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis and SaverLife during the 2019 tax season. 

Latest Tax Prep Dispatch

The Shrinking Offseason
July 1, 2020 

Reset Button
May 1, 2020 

Non-Filers 101
April 15, 2020 

Alternative Service Delivery Tips
April 6, 2020 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered?
March 30, 2020 

The Drop-Off Process
March 19, 2020 

March 13, 2020